It’s thought that more than 160,000 people in Malawi have visual impairments, with half caused by cataracts. Much of our work in the country involves helping to improve eye care services, particularly in rural areas, so people with visual impairments can be diagnosed and treated.
In Malawi, 8.2 million people live in areas at risk of trachoma, and more than 12,500 people have the advanced stage of the disease that can lead to blindness. Sightsavers is working to eliminate trachoma and provides vital outreach to isolated communities, enabling health workers to reach as many people as possible.
In 2017 we helped to distribute more than 1.2 million antibiotic treatments for trachoma. Surveys show the country is on track to eliminate the disease by 2019.
Sightsavers manages the Coordinated Approach To Eye Health (CATCH) project in Malawi, which aims to improve treatment for people who live in areas where trachoma is present.
Sightsavers coordinates its trachoma outreach camps with other eye care services, meaning people that arrive at the camps with eye problems other than trachoma, such as cataracts, can be referred for treatment elsewhere. The CATCH programme also aims to improve local health systems to ensure patients are able to receive a high standard of eye care in the future.